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By Zach Thomas
Arizona Daily Wildcat
February 27, 1998

UA opposes bill that would allow food and drinks in Arizona Stadium

PHOENIX - The UA will work to limit the effects of a legislative measure that would allow sports fans to bring food and drinks into Arizona Stadium, a university lobbyist said Wednesday.

Greg Fahey, associate vice president for state relations, said he was distressed about House Bill 2057, which would allow outside food and beverages into any state-owned or state-funded stadium.

"I'm working with colleagues to work out a compromise," Fahey said. "As it stands, it would distort or destroy our no-alcohol policy."

The University of Arizona's football stadium currently has a "no container" policy that precludes ticket holders from bringing their own edibles or drinkables, said John Perrin, an athletic department business manager.

A ban on booze would continue if the measure makes it into law, as the proposal still would prohibit hooch as well as glass containers.

"The bill as I read it would not allow alcohol, and that means that you would have to check every container," Perrin said.

He cited the possible need for more ushers and a return to cooler-size problems that sparked the container ban.

"People were bringing containers so big that it was a real problem," Perrin said.

UA spokeswoman Sharon Kha said the university implemented the no-container policy in 1984 because of alcohol-related problems at UA football games.

"That policy has been remarkably successful and we would like to continue to be able to use it," Kha said.

Perrin added that the proposal's possible effects on concession sales were hazy.

Gross revenues from concession sales during fall's football season totaled $504,000 - one-third of which goes back to the athletic department. The other part goes to the coffers of the UA Student Union, which runs the concession stands.

The bill would affect any stadium funded wholly or in part by public moneys, including Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe and Phoenix's new BankOne Ballpark now under construction.

Introduced by Rep. Jean McGrath, R-Glendale, the measure was designed to target Phoenix sports magnate Jerry Colangelo, who earlier said he would limit, if not ban, fans from bringing food or drinks into BankOne Ballpark.

The measure made it through the House Government Operations committee last week, and it remains unclear when the full House will hear the proposal.

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